The past month saw the signing of an MOU with the FAO, a sight restoring mission to Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, and humanitarian aid to Moldova, Uzbekistan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE) and MASHAV signed in Addis Ababa in July 2010 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote technical collaboration and the development of capacity building strategies in East Africa’s Sub-Region. The agreement between the two organizations was signed by FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa, Mr. Mafa E. Chipeta and Head of MASHAV Ambassador Haim Divon.
The MOU was signed following an overall agreement of cooperation, which was endorsed in November 2008 in Rome with the aim to assist developing countries reach their Millennium Development Goals, through the implementation of a joint project focused on capacity building. The MOU will provide both sides the opportunity to build capacity through training of professionals as well as the sharing of experiences on agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas. It will also provide more opportunities for further collaboration to address the technical potential of the sub-region in improving the livelihoods of rural communities; and to boost local and regional economies.
Sight restoring mission to Micronesia and the Marshall Islands
In June 2010, a team of four leading Israeli ophthalmologists arrived in Micronesia and the Marshall Islands to perform cataract, oculoplastics and sight restoring surgical operations with emphasis on diabetes complications. The two-week mission was jointly organized by MASHAV and Israeli NGO "Eye from Zion." During their stay the doctors performed over 100 procedures, and demonstrated surgical techniques to local medical teams.
Humanitarian aid to Moldova
The Israeli Foreign Ministry through MASHAV responded to Moldova’s Prime Minister Vladimir Filat request for aid, sending an urgent shipment of blankets and tents to Moldova following the heavy rains and floods which hit the country recently, leaving thousands of people homeless. The emergency assistance is a testimony of the friendly relations existing between the two countries.
Humanitarian assistance to Uzbekistan
In mid June, tens of thousands of people were displaced inside Kyrgyzstan as well as across the border into Uzbekistan, victims of conflict between two ethnic communities. Following an official request for international assistance, MASHAV dispatched humanitarian aid including medications, hygiene products and baby equipment. Israel’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Hillel Newman coordinated and delivered the humanitarian aid to the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border for further distribution among the refugees.